Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


34th Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2008

Event Details

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Symposium #216
CE Offered: BACB
Addressing Core Deficits: Developing Social Repertoires in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder
Sunday, May 25, 2008
1:30 PM–2:50 PM
Continental B
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Kim D. Lucker Greene (Behavior Management Consultants, Inc.)
Discussant: Sarah Robinson (Agency for Persons with Disabilities)
CE Instructor: Kim D. Lucker Greene, Ph.D.

This symposium will present 3 papers demonstrating social skills instruction for children with autism, carried out in three different formats/settings; computer-based parent training, university center-based student teaching, and a community-based social skills group with typical and non-typical peers . Data on childrens' social interactions and parents' social skill instruction will be presented. Video demonstrations will also be used to illustrate procedures used in these different instructional formats.

The Saturday Social Club: A Weekend Social Skills Group for Young Children with Autism.
HEATHER R. MUMMAW (Behavior Management Consultants, Inc.), Kim D. Lucker Greene (Behavior Management Consultants, Inc.)
Abstract: One of the most significant problems for people on the autism spectrum is difficulty in social interaction. This difficulty is, of course, made more significant by problems with speech and language. The purpose of a social skills group is to teach and guide social interaction of the children participating in the group, so as to teach them how to successfully engage with others in an effort to establish and maintain peer relationships. Many schools and some private agencies are implementing variations on the theme of friendship clubs or social-skills clubs. These are typically small, adult-supervised groups of children brought together to help one or more children in the group learn appropriate social behavior. The adult—and eventually the other children—acts as a social-skills coaches. The goal of the social skills groups is to increase functional social skills that children can use in everyday social settings. These groups focus on reinforcing positive behaviors such as following instructions and routines, functional communications skills, cooperative play and sharing, and positive non-verbal communication skills such as eye contact. In this paper we will present a model social skills program designed by a group of behavior analysts with Behavior Management Consultants, Inc. The “Saturday Social Club” is designed to provide children on the autism spectrum with the ability to converse, share, and play interactively with both children on the spectrum and typical peers. Data on peer interactions will be presented. Video clips will be used to illustrate the implementation of this specialized social skills therapy group.
Social Skills Training in a Center-Based Program for Children with Autism.
KARLY MARRIOTT (California State University, Fresno), Amanda N. Adams (California State University, Fresno)
Abstract: Developing social skills is one of the most important goals of behavior therapy for children with autism, but is also one of the more difficult areas to develop within a structured therapy session. Due to many factors including the lack of availability of other children and the predominance of one-on-one tutoring with an adult, many children in behavior therapy do not have the opportunity to interact with other children to practice and generalize social skills. A clinic, center, or school setting offers advantages, namely, the availability of other children. Having additional staff on hand can also be an advantage of these programs. Structuring interaction and collecting relevant data on such interactions remains a challenge. In this paper we will present several methods developed at the Central California Autism Center for collecting data and structuring social interaction between children in our center setting. These methods are likely to be highly replicable in many settings
A Computer-Based Program for Teaching Parents How to Embed Social Skills Instruction during Play Activities.
MAE R. BARKER (University of Florida)
Abstract: Due to the increasing number of children being diagnosed with autism, there is a critical need for finding better, more efficient ways to train parents on how to educate their children with autism. Parents of children with autism can play a key educational role in their children’s lives by providing systematic instruction to address the core deficits of autism. The purpose of this project is to evaluate the effectiveness of a computer-based training program (using Microsoft PowerPoint) for teaching parents how to implement social skills instruction during play activities. The training will focus on teaching parents how to initiate instruction and how to deliver discrete-trial based instruction in the context of the natural environment. Prior to the parent participant receiving the computer-based training, the researcher will assess the child’s social skills using sections of the ABLLS-R (Partington, 2006). The researcher will review these results with the parent and select instructional targets for the parent to teach his/her child during the project. During baseline, the parent will be asked to focus on teaching these skills during play activities, and data will be collected on the parent’s instructional delivery and the child’s acquisition of social skills. Following baseline, the parent will receive the computer training and the parent and child behavior will be subsequently measured to examine the effect of the training. This type of research has implications in disseminating ABA technology to an increasing number of families impacted by ASD.



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